How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This combination product containing 2 ingredients belongs to a group of medications known as corticosteroids. It is used to treat hemorrhoids. It may also be used to treat discomfort after surgery to the anal area and other conditions affecting the anal area. It works by reducing swelling, irritation, and itching.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for details.
How should I use this medication?
Ointment: Wash and dry the affected anal area. Apply the ointment into the anus using the applicator provided and to the surface of the anus. Use the ointment in the morning, at bedtime, and after each bowel movement, or as directed by your doctor.
Suppositories: Wash and dry the affected anal area. Insert one suppository into the anus in the morning and evening and after each bowel movement, or as directed by your doctor.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use hydrocortisone - zinc sulfate if you:
- are allergic to hydrocortisone, zinc sulfate, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- have tuberculosis, fungal, bacterial, or viral infections of the skin
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- thin, fragile skin
- unusual weight gain
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- burning and itching of skin
- false sense of well-being
- painful, red, or itchy pus-containing blisters in hair follicles
- rectal bleeding, burning, dryness, itching, or pain not present before treatment
- sensation of pins and needles
- stabbing pain
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Tell all health professionals involved in your care that you have been using topical (skin-applied) corticosteroids.
Adverse effects: Although side effects from using this medication are uncommon and should not occur with ordinary use, there have been rare instances of sensitization, irritation, and failure of therapeutic response. Stop using this medication and call a doctor if you experience irritation, an allergic reaction, or sensitization.
Bleeding from rectum: Call your doctor right away if you notice bleeding from the rectum.
Infection: Topical corticosteroids may increase the risk of developing a skin infection. Contact your doctor if you notice any increased redness, swelling, heat, or pain around the area where the medication is applied, as these are possible signs of infection.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication may pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between hydrocortisone - zinc sulfate and any of the following:
- other medications that are being applied or used rectally
- other topical medications that contain corticosteroids or that have irritating effects
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.